Apologies, But Not For Stabbing

Fiore's ghost apologizes to Kyouko. (Content warning: language.)

Date: 2017-09-28
Pose Count: 13
Kyouko Sakura 2017-09-28 23:29:05 83848
    It is not unusual to find Kyouko in the ECFH. While her actual home is downstairs, with her sister and (increasingly often) Naru, this place has been the center of 'things', both positive and negative, for a very long time, and it's still the social center of her life. Many is the day she will come upstairs to read or hang out or whatever, without need for a particular reason to do so.

    Today is one of those days. Whatever she came up seeking, if anything, she doesn't seem to have found it simply due to the fact that nobody else is around at the moment. Nobody human-shaped, anyway. That suits her just fine- while she enjoys the company of her brothers (and often of the many guests that frequent the place), sometimes it's nice to relax on your own, too. Wearing a white tank-top and pajama pants (they are black with cartoon apples on them), she has sprawled herself on one of the couches and is currently engaged in reading one of the trashy shoujo mangas she enjoys so much.

    Her enjoyment of girly trashy shoujo manga is not exactly a secret, as she reads them in common areas like this often enough, but with nobody around she's a bit more free with her reactions, which is why she's chortling to herself animatedly as she flips pages, watching the distressingly big-eyed characters profess distressingly emphatic feelings for each other amidst inappropriate speed-lines.
Fiore 2017-09-28 23:42:52 83849
It's a little different, being a plant now that he knows he can talk, if he wants to. Mamoru left him with some energy to use, when he wanted to come out of his planter and -- not 'interact' with the world, because he can't really do that, but he could project himself into their world, and that's enough for him. Mostly.

Fiore doesn't know if Mamoru told any of his friends that he can talk now. He said he was going to talk to the cats, so that neither of them does *that* again, but it's only been a few days, and he has other stuff on his mind. It's hard to tell, whether people are being nicer to him, or more careful around him. The things people put in his planter have tasted a bit better, not that many of them were nasty before. So that's nice.

The red puella magi who stabbed him so many months ago has been around her a lot before. He's gotten used to her voice, and he doesn't begrudge her what she did, back then. If he'd actually died, he's realized, the confrontation on the asteroid never would have happened, and the Xenian might have died -- could it have passed to someone else, without Sailor Moon destroying it? He doesn't know. For better or worse, things played out the way they did, and he's not unhappy.


Fiore doesn't make a noise when he rises out of his planter, a silent, ghostly form that walks over and into the apartment from the balcony, perching on the nearest surface opposite Kyouko and sitting there for a moment or two before speaking.

"You're name's Kyouko, right?" he asks at last, as friendly as he can manage. "What are you reading?"
Kyouko Sakura 2017-09-28 23:52:35 83850
    Kyouko has very refined senses. Her combat-sense is second-to-none, and years of living on the street have ingrained in her the conviction that danger can be anywhere and one must always be on their guard. However, she is used to most people making at least some noise when they move... and this place in particular may dull some of her neurotic alertness, as it has been a proven safe haven for so long.

    These things are why she doesn't notice Fiore's ghostly form as he makes his way over near to her, continuing to read her manga with pleasant ignorance that she is observed. That is, at least, until he actually speaks. The reaction is immidiate- the redhead leaps up, actually vaulting the back of the couch as if she's going to use it as some kind of barrier, her manga forgotten on the cushion as she peers over the top with wide, hardened red eyes. "Who's-" She pauses, seeing the ghostly form.

    "..wait a sec? Are you the plant guy?" She asks, not coming out from behind the couch, her tone both incredulous and mildly alarmed. "I thought you were.." well, not dead, but.. "Inanimate!"
Fiore 2017-09-29 00:09:07 83851
Ah. Mamoru hasn't told people yet, then. He should have expected that, it hasn't been long at all. But he's never been especially sensitive to how humans feel. Even Mamoru is no exception, so when he didn't startle too badly when he saw him, Fiore figured that the others would react similarly.

Apparently not.

The ghosts startles at Kyouko's startling, righting himself in the air and hovering there for a little, looking down at the puella magi with a highly concerned expression.

"Y-yes," he answers her. "Fiore, I mean -- that's my name, not plant guy. And I don't think I've ever been inanimate, exactly, but until a few days ago I was just a rosebush, and now I'm a rosebush and me...sometimes. But I'm not the me that I was a year ago, that's a very complicated situation that I probably can't completely explain right now -- the important thing is I'm sorry for startling you. I just wanted to talk."

And now he has, conveniently enough. When he's done spewing his words at a worried pace, he stares at Kyouko with wide, semi-transparent eyes, waiting to see how she'll respond to him being back.
Kyouko Sakura 2017-09-29 00:24:01 83855
    To be fair, many people around here probably would react more like Mamoru. But Kyouko has always been high-strung, in that 'don't put a hand on her shoulder when she isn't expecting it or you might get stabbed' kind of way. She remains behind the couch, keeping it between her and the ghostly Fiore, as if couches are somehow a defense against the spectral.

    She listens to his explanation without interrupting, a little more of her face peeking over the back of the cushion when he finishes, her expression a pensive frown. "No, I know all about the.. alien plants, and stuff." She says, regarding his assertion that the situation is very complicated. "Although that don't mean I'm ready to smile and shake hands with somebody who's tried to kill me." She pauses. "Right away." A significant number of people she is friends with have tried to kill her (or vice versa) at one point or another.

    "I knew you were a rosebush. But now you're a ghost? Doubleyou-tee-eff, dude. How did that happen?" Still behind the couch, still frowning.. no clear indication of whether she is okay with this situation or concerned by it.
Fiore 2017-09-29 00:44:03 83860
Yeah, that's fair. He wasn't expecting her to be friendly, not after everything he did. In fact, it's a little refreshing, to face someone unwilling to immediately forgive him. He certainly doesn't feel like he deserves it, even after what he did for Sailor Moon. One act, no matter how good, can make up for a lifetime of mistakes, most of which led the world to near-imminent destruction.

Fiore looks down, sheepish -- then realizes he's still floating in the air, and sinks back down to the ground, landing as soundlessly as he first arrived.

"I'm not asking you to," he says. "I promise. I've had a really long time to think about everything I did, and about how much of it was actually me, and how much was the Xenian. I've wanted to apologize to...well, everybody. But Mamoru said everyone only gets one apology, so I thought I should give mine to you." He tried to turn her into a Witch, after all, and he of all people should know how cruel that is, to be turned into a monster that's only a shadow of the former you. "What I did to you...what I tried to do, anyway. I don't know if it was worse than what I did to everybody else, but it was the most cruel. So. I am very sorry.

Beat. She's asked him a question, and he can't do much else but shrug.

"Kunzite put me in a rock when I died. When he took me back, Mamoru and the senshi with plant powers planted me, and then I grew. My spirit's always been in the rosebush, and I think I finally built up enough energy to be seen by everybody. Mamoru helped, though. He saw me the other day, he and Kunzite did, and he gave me some energy to come out when I want to." Fiore waves his hand. "He put it in my planter."
Kyouko Sakura 2017-09-29 00:54:21 83862
    Kyouko eyes Fiore over the top of the couch as he offers her his apology. She's silent for a few moments after he finishes speaking, as if considering what he's said, although her expression doesn't shift much from the pensive frown and distrustful eyes that she's been giving him the whole while. After a moment, though, she climbs back up over the back of the couch and flops back down onto the cushions on the correct side of it.

    "I love Mamoru as much as anybody here," She says, after another moment, "But he can be an idiot sometimes. You don't get just one apology. Life is all about makin' mistakes. I know that better'n most. And when you fuck up, you say you're sorry. Not just once, but as many times as it takes. Because you're gonna keep fucking up- that's just what people do. So you gotta keep apologizing, too. It's when you stop apologizing that something's wrong. Realizing that you made a mistake.. that's the most important thing."

    "But I also know apologies don't just make mistakes go away. But I'm also not going to hold myself up as some kinda martyr. It was a fight.. in a fight, you do whatever you gotta to do to win. No such thing as rules when your life is on the line." She shrugs. "And I think I gave as good as I got."

    As to the rest- "Oh. I guess that makes sense." Really, it's one of the more logical explanations she could have thought of.
Fiore 2017-09-29 01:14:50 83867
Fiore tilts his head, and just as she considered his words, he considers hers. She's making herself comfortable on the couch again, so she must be feeling better than she was at first. Maybe he should sit down himself, so everything feels more at ease...there's a chair close by, excellent. He hovers over to it and 'sits.'

It may not seem like it, but he actually is trying to get better at the 'resembling an actual human' thing.

"...he might have been talking about just that day," Fiore thinks aloud, eyes glazing over a touch as he thinks back to a couple days ago, when Kunzite and Minako were also around. "Kunzite wanted to say sorry, too. About something I'm not sure I understand. And maybe he was afraid that I'd burn myself out apologizing for every single thing I did, before I had a chance to talk about anything else. I don't think he meant everyone only gets one apology *ever* --" or maybe he did, and he just doesn't know enough to really understand, but Kyouko sounds like she knows what she's talking about, "-- I don't know. He may not want me to feel bad, but it doesn't feel right to me not to say sorry to everyone I hurt back then."

Fiore looks right at her again.

"You are a very good fighter, Kyouko," he says, and there's no real animosity there. How can there be, when he understands the rules of a fight just as well as she does, and when he knows that in the end, his death was the best chance they had at saving the world? "You protect Mamoru too, don't you? He said he had six rocks."
Kyouko Sakura 2017-09-29 01:20:40 83869
    "You should say sorry to everyone you hurt." Kyouko says, her expression firm. Not exactly angry, but not exactly friendly, either. "I think it's important to do so. I did my best to make things right with everyone when it was my turn to do so." She eyes him for a moment. "But I won't say sorry for stabbing you. Because you never say sorry for protecting you friends." This is also something she firmly beleives. "But you're right.. he probably just meant that day."

    She tosses her head slightly at the compliment to her fighting skills, short hair artfully disarrayed. "That's right, I am. It's pretty much all I'm good at, so I try to be the best I can at it." At the question about protecting Mamoru, she nods her head. "I mean.. I would anyway. I was, back then, too and it wasn't official at that point. I try an' look out for my friends. But yes.. it's official now. Keeping him safe is my job. Along with the other guys, y'know."
Fiore 2017-09-29 01:44:01 83875
Fiore laughs at her comment, audibly bitter, though from the way he looks down again and dons a self-deprecating smile, it's likely not bitterness directed at her.

"Well...in a way," he says, "I was trying to protect my friend too."

Obviously, what Kyouko did wasn't anywhere near what he did; for one thing, she actually *was* protecting her friends. But, at the time, he'd never have guessed that everything he felt for Mamoru, every misguided impulse he had to spirit him away, every violently jealous rage at his friends, all of it came from the Xenian. If he'd come back in his right frame of mind, how much would he have acted like that? Could he say for sure he wouldn't have been jealous at *all*?

But she said something that catches his attention again, and after a moment, he's looking at her from across the room, big-eyed.

"When it was your turn?" Fiore repeats. She said it's her job to protect Mamoru, with the other guardians he told him about, but this doesn't line up right. "Did...did something happen to you too?"
Kyouko Sakura 2017-09-29 01:51:04 83877
    Kyouko shrugs a little bit, sitting back on the couch and crossing one leg over the other, a bare foot with red-painted toenails bobbing faintly in the air as she reaches over and adjusts her manga so that it's sitting properly on the couch cushion beside her. "Well. I ain't gonna tell you my whole life's story." She doesn't give a reason, but she doesn't feel she has to- only a very few people have ever gotten the whole story out of her, Mamoru and Naru chief among them.

    "Suffice it to say that I was kind of a selfish bitch a few years back.. 'til some people, Mamoru bein' one of them, maybe the biggest one, came along and showed me that there were other ways to be. So yeah.. I screwed up. Like, on the scale of years screwed up. And I had to say I was sorry to people I hurt. And I did, and I think it was right to do it and now a lot of those people are my friends." A small shrug.

    "Granted," A look at his ghostly form with a faintly arched eyebrow. "Most of 'em I never tried to kill.."
Fiore 2017-09-29 02:08:18 83879
Hmm. How many people did he *directly* try to kill? Obviously, if his plan had succeeded, everyone on Earth would have died, except for Mamoru, and he knows by now that he probably would have died when his planet crumbled anyway. But Kyouko's right. There's something much more sickeningly personal about targetting someone directly. Deeper than trying to destroy their planet and kill them by way of collateral damage. And he doesn't know if there are enough apologies in the world to move past that.

Sailor Moon might think so. Kyouko obviously doesn't.

"Maybe that wasn't completely your fault either, though," he says, breezing past her condemnation of his attempted murders because he can't honestly hold that against her. "I travelled much of the known galaxy when I was looking for Mamoru-kun's present. I met a lot of Puella Magi along the way. I learned a lot about who they are and what they're made to do. I never met an Incubator, so I don't know the whole story...but the ones I talked to said, the way things are, Puella Magi have to eat each other just to survive."

He shrugs.

"I don't know. I probably don't understand a lot about it. But if something that was forced on you makes you do something bad...at least, Mamoru seems to think that that makes you innocent. Or maybe just not guilty. I don't know." He pulls his knees up to his chest, which is an oddly comforting position for him, despite the untold years he spent just like this, curled up and floating through space. "I don't know why it would be that way for me and not for you."
Kyouko Sakura 2017-09-29 02:17:17 83881
    Kyouko eyes the floating ghost.. her expression still stoic. Maybe 'grim' would be the right word- as if she feels this conversation is important to have, but isn't exactly enjoying having it. Nonetheless, she doesn't seem like she wants to turn and run either. Perhaps it's somewhat of a personal challenge to her.

    "Maybe. But I dunno. That seems like trying to dodge responsibility, to me." She says, her tone lacking condemnation but certainly not lacking conviction. "Things are rough for Puella. Obviously I know that. But there ain't nothin' saying you have to survive at the expense of other people. A lot do.. I did. Because it's easiest. But it's not the only way. I know several Puella who have proved that. Nobody was making me behave that way.. nobody is making any other Puella behave that way either. But it's easier to point at Kyubey or something and be like 'I have to, he's making me' than it is just to admit that you're too scared to risk more but take a nobler route."

    She pauses, then says, "In the end we're all responsible for our own actions. Maybe at the time it seemed like there was no choices, but I don't believe in fate. I believe in willpower and determination and common sense. But like I said.. I also believe that people make mistakes. And that you can make up for 'em.. if you try."

    To the part about Mamoru's forgiveness, she just shrugs. "I'm not worried about Mamoru's forgiveness. I know I have it. He wouldn't have given me a Name if I didn't." This she's more sure of than anything.